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The Cost Of War in Africa 


A recent study, “Africa’s Missing Millions”, is the first time analysts have calculated the overall effects of conflict on gross domestic product (GDP). The report, a joint effort of Oxfam, the International Action Network On Small Arms (IANSA) and Safeworld, shows that on the average, a war, a civil war or insurgency shrinks an African economy by 15 percent.

Liberia, and Sierra Leone are two countries in West Africa that have suffered the ravages of war.

For a break down of the direct impact of war on these two countries, Nightline’s Akwei Thompson spoke with Rebecca Peters, the director of IANSA who said:

“ The way that this study was done was we measured the difference between what a country’s GDP should have been if it had not been affected by armed conflict and compared that with what it actually was. “And so, for example, in the case of Liberia we estimate that Liberia lost about 58 percent of the value of its economy due to armed conflict and that came to about 5.9 billion dollars.” This, she said, that had a huge economic impact on Liberia,

In the case of Sierra Leone,Rebecca Peters said “ we estimate that Sierra Leone lost about 37 percent of the economic development that it should have had during the conflict; it’s about 5.1 billion that Sierra Leone is estimated to have lost because of armed conflict.”

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